Internet Party (New Zealand)

The Internet Party is a political party in New Zealand that promoted Internet freedom and privacy. Founded in January 2014 with the support of Internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom, the party contested the 2014 New Zealand election as part of an electoral alliance with the Mana Movement but failed to win any seats in the New Zealand House of Representatives.[2] The Internet Party contested the 2017 general election under the leadership of journalist Suzie Dawson but failed to win any seats.[3]

Internet Party
Party PresidentSuzie Dawson[1]
Party Leadervacant
Party SecretaryJo Booth[citation needed]
FounderKim Dotcom
Founded13 May 2014
IdeologyCollaborative e-democracy
Internet freedom
Privacy
Copyright reform
Political positionCentre-left
ColoursPurple
MPs in the House of Representatives
0 / 120
Website
internet.org.nz

The party was deregistered by the New Zealand Electoral Commission on 12 June 2018, because its membership had dropped below the 500 required for registration.[4] The party applied for broadcasting funding for the 2020 general election, but did not contest the election.

HistoryEdit

Dotcom founded the file-sharing website Megaupload in 2005. It was shut down in January 2012 by the US government and Dotcom was arrested by the New Zealand Police. In September 2013, Dotcom revealed an interest in setting up a political party.[5] On 15 January 2014, Dotcom announced the name of the party and its logo.[6][7] He intended to hold a launch party on 20 January, two years after the raid on his house and the day before his 40th birthday. He distributed 25,000 tickets but was forced to cancel for fear of breaching electoral law.[8][9]

The Internet Party became a registered political party on 13 May 2014[10] having started to sign up members on 27 March 2014,[11] the first to do so in New Zealand through the use of a phone app.[12] Dotcom provided NZ$3.5 million of funding to the party, which was the largest personal contribution to a political party on record in New Zealand.[13]

2014 electionEdit

With the lead up to the 2014 election the party ran an Idol-style candidate search and appointed a leader, the former Alliance MP and Minister, Laila Harré. This appointment cemented an electoral alliance with the Mana Movement, a joint Internet Party and Mana Movement then contested the 2014 general election with the Internet Party supplying 15 candidates. Dotcom, who could not stand as a candidate himself still lent his celebrity pulling power and attended events across New Zealand throughout the campaign.

The Mana Movement who held a seat with its leader Hone Harawira were confident that they would win this seat again and return additional MPs to the House of Representatives of New Zealand. However, on election night the seat was lost and both parties failed to have any representation under the New Zealand proportional system winning only 1.42 per cent of the vote, far less than the five per cent threshold required.[2] Dotcom said to reporters on election night that "I take full responsibility for this loss tonight, because the brand—the brand Kim Dotcom—was poison for what we were trying to achieve."[14] Both parties have since gone their separate ways.

After the election, Laila Harré resigned as party leader[15] and the party told its members that it was concentrating on efforts to build its internal structures to support its grass roots movement.[16] In December 2016, Kim Dotcom posted a poll on Twitter asking if his followers wanted the Internet Party to stand in the 2017 election.[17]

2017 electionEdit

The party remained leaderless until 8 February 2017, when the Internet Party appointed Suzie Dawson, an activist and citizen journalist who had been seeking temporary asylum in Russia since 2016, as the party's new leader for the 2017 election.[18] The Internet Party ran eight party list candidates.[19] During the 2017 general election, the Internet Party won only 499 votes (0.02%) – the lowest party vote result for any registered party – and failed to win any seats in the New Zealand House of Representatives.[3]

In a tweet of April 2018, Suzie Dawson said that she was no longer eligible to run for Parliament as she had lived outside New Zealand for more than three years, and so was resigning as party leader. She said that she had been elected party president instead.[20]

The party was deregistered on 12 June 2018 because its membership had dropped below the 500 required for registration.[4]

Current statusEdit

The party remains unregistered.[21] The party's website redirects to an archived version of the site from January 2020, stored on the Internet Archive.[22][23] This page does not list a party leader; it lists Jo Booth as party secretary. The latest news in this archived website is from September 2017. The last notice to members is from November 2018.[24]

The party's most recent public action was in May 2020, to apply for broadcasting funding for the 2020 general election. It received $41,457 of funding conditional on achieving party registration,[25] but it did not register. The party did not contest the 2020 election; it did not run candidates in any electorates, and as an unregistered party it was not eligible for the party vote.

PoliciesEdit

The party used a consultative process to form policies with its membership using online platforms with policy writers following the forum in the background.[26]

During its launch in 2014, the party set an agenda which included the following broad aims:[8][27]

  • Provide unlimited high-speed internet to all New Zealanders, 50% cheaper than current prices
  • Build another submarine communications cable connecting New Zealand to the world
  • Create new high-tech jobs
  • Restrict government surveillance
  • Review the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement
  • Copyright reform
  • Encourage clean energy and green technology
  • Reduce social inequality.

Electoral resultsEdit

Election Candidates nominated Seats won Votes Vote share % Government
Electorate List
2014 15[28] 32[28]
0 / 121
34,095 1.42% Not in parliament
2017 0 8[29]
0 / 120
499 0.02% Not in parliament

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20200114003728/https://internet.org.nz/
  2. ^ a b "New Zealand 2014 General Election Official Results". New Zealand Electoral Commission. Archived from the original on 13 June 2018. Retrieved 7 October 2017.
  3. ^ a b "2017 General Election - Official Result". New Zealand Electoral Commission. Retrieved 24 September 2017.
  4. ^ a b "Cancellation of Party Registration". New Zealand Electoral Commission. Archived from the original on 14 June 2018.
  5. ^ "Kim Dotcom to enter politics?". Fairfax New Zealand. 1 September 2013. Archived from the original on 1 September 2013.
  6. ^ Patrice Dougan (15 January 2014). "Kim Dotcom reveals name of new political party". New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 15 January 2014.
  7. ^ "Kim Dotcom unveils the Internet Party". 3 News. 15 January 2014. Retrieved 15 January 2014.
  8. ^ a b Milne, Jonathan (23 March 2014). "Politicians of all stripes welcome at Kim's place". NZ Herald. Retrieved 23 March 2014.
  9. ^ Davison, Isaac (16 January 2014). "Kim Dotcom cans Auckland party". NZ Herald. Retrieved 23 March 2014.
  10. ^ "Registration of Internet Party and Logo". New Zealand Electoral Commission. 13 May 2014. Retrieved 13 May 2014.
  11. ^ Bennett, Adam (27 March 2014). "Kim Dotcom launches Internet Party". NZ Herald. Retrieved 27 March 2014.
  12. ^ Bennett, Adam (24 March 2014). "Dotcom's Internet Party app approved". NZ Herald. Retrieved 24 March 2014.
  13. ^ Hutchison, Jonathan (18 September 2014). "Online Renegade, Wanted in U.S., Shakes Up New Zealand Election". NZ Herald. Retrieved 7 October 2017.
  14. ^ Hutchison, Jonathan (20 September 2014). "New Zealand's Ruling National Party Is Re-elected". New York Times. Retrieved 7 October 2017.
  15. ^ "Harré has officially resigned from the Internet Party". Your NZ. 15 December 2014. Retrieved 2 April 2017.
  16. ^ Executive Committee By-election called, Archived 4 February 2015 at the Wayback Machine Internet Party, 1 February 2015
  17. ^ "Kim Dotcom hints at return of the Internet Party". Radio NZ. Retrieved 5 January 2017.
  18. ^ Hurley, Sam (17 June 2017). "Kim Dotcom's Internet Party names exiled citizen journalist Suzie Dawson as leader". New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 7 October 2017.
  19. ^ "2017 General Election Party Lists". Electoral Commission. 31 August 2017. Archived from the original on 20 April 2018. Retrieved 3 September 2017.
  20. ^ https://twitter.com/Suzi3D/status/989784553601601536
  21. ^ "Register of political parties". elections.nz. Retrieved 1 October 2020.
  22. ^ "Internet Party".
  23. ^ "Internet Party of New Zealand". 14 January 2020. Archived from the original on 14 January 2020. Retrieved 29 April 2020.
  24. ^ "Latest News | Internet Party of New Zealand". 19 December 2019. Archived from the original on 19 December 2019. Retrieved 29 April 2020.
  25. ^ "2020 Broadcasting Allocation Decision" (PDF). Elections.nz.
  26. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 13 January 2015. Retrieved 23 February 2015.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  27. ^ "Internet Party Action Agenda". Internet Party. Archived from the original on 27 March 2014. Retrieved 27 March 2014.
  28. ^ a b "Electoral Commission releases part and candidate list for 2014 election". New Zealand Electoral Commission. Retrieved 7 October 2017.
  29. ^ "Party and Candidate Lists for 2017 Election". New Zealand Electoral Commission. Retrieved 7 October 2017.

External linksEdit